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Man, 38, charged in connection to Kailua homicide

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Prosecutors charged Keone Labatad today with kidnapping in connection to the body that was discovered along a Kailua hiking trail two weeks ago.

A 38-year-old man was charged today in connection in the death of Benjamin Awong, also 38, whose body was discovered along a Kailua hiking trail two weeks ago.

Prosecutors charged Keone Labatad with kidnapping. His bail was set at $500,000.

Awong’s body had suspicious injuries when it was discovered May 15 by hunters in the area. The Medical Examiner’s office subsequently ruled the death a homicide.

Labatad, whose criminal history includes robbery and felony assault, was arrested Tuesday at a Kaneohe residence.

A 34-year-old woman was also arrested in the case on Wednesday but released pending investigation.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the suspect was charged with second-degree murder. He was charged with kidnapping.
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